(19)
(11)EP 2 625 530 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/50

(21)Application number: 11791197.4

(22)Date of filing:  30.09.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01N 35/00(2006.01)
B01L 3/02(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2011/004894
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/045416 (12.04.2012 Gazette  2012/15)

(54)

MECHANICAL PIPETTE

MECHANISCHE PIPETTE

PIPETTE MÉCANIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 06.05.2011 US 201161483583 P
04.10.2010 DE 102010047829

(43)Date of publication of application:
14.08.2013 Bulletin 2013/33

(73)Proprietor: Eppendorf AG
22339 Hamburg (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • MOHR, Günther, A.
    18209 Bad Doberan (DE)
  • VON BEICHMANN, Boris
    22391 Hamburg (DE)
  • LURZ, Werner
    24568 Kaltenkirchen (DE)

(74)Representative: Hauck Patentanwaltspartnerschaft mbB 
Postfach 11 31 53
20431 Hamburg
20431 Hamburg (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 0 999 432
WO-A1-02/090895
DE-A1- 19 911 397
US-A1- 2003 099 578
US-A1- 2006 085 162
US-A1- 2009 049 933
US-A1- 2009 317 304
US-B2- 7 651 664
WO-A1-98/25736
WO-A1-2007/121324
DE-A1-102007 010 299
US-A1- 2005 118 069
US-A1- 2009 000 350
US-A1- 2009 055 131
US-A1- 2010 083 775
  
  • Anonymus: "EDP-Plus(TM) Electronic Pipette", , 1 January 1989 (1989-01-01), XP055502848, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:https://www.pipettesupplies.com/assets /1/7/EDP_Plus-User_Manual_2002_(Rainin).pd f [retrieved on 2018-08-28]
  • Anonymus: "Pipetman Ultra" In: "Pipetman Ultra", 1 October 2002 (2002-10-01), Gilson, Inc., XP055502844, pages 1-2,
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] The invention relates to a mechanical pipette.

[0002] Pipettes are handheld or stationary dosing devices that in particular are used in the laboratory for dosing liquids. "Liquids" mean liquid media in the form of samples that are single-phase liquids or liquid mixtures, or multiphase liquid mixtures (such as emulsions) or liquid-solid mixtures (such as suspensions) or liquid-gas mixtures (such as foams).

[0003] Air displacement pipettes have a seat for releasably holding a pipette tip. A displacement unit for air is integrated in the pipette and, communicating by means of a channel, is connected to a hole in the seat. The air cushion is displaced by means of the displacement unit so that liquid is aspirated into, or discharged from, a tip opening in the pipette tip depending on the direction of displacement of the air cushion. The displacement unit is usually a cylinder having a plunger displaceable therein. The plunger is driven by means of a drive unit. The designation "air displacement pipette" is based on the air cushion between the liquid and the displacement unit.

[0004] Positive displacement pipettes work together with syringes that have a syringe cylinder and a syringe plunger that is displaceable therein. The syringes can be coupled to or respectively released from the positive displacement pipettes. The syringe cylinder is held in the positive displacement pipette and the syringe plunger is held in a plunger seat that can be displaced by means of a drive unit. By means of the drive unit, the syringe plunger is moved back and forth so that the liquid is aspirated into, or respectively discharged from, a hole in the tip. The designation "direct displacement pipette" is based on that there is no air cushion between the liquid and syringe piston, and the syringe piston directly displaces the liquid.

[0005] When designed as a dispenser, the positive displacement pipette has a drive unit that enables a stepwise discharge in partial amounts of a complete quantity of liquid aspirated by the tip.

[0006] Pipettes are known with a manually driven mechanical drive unit, or an electromechanically driven drive unit, or a manually driven mechanical drive unit with electromechanical support (servodrive). In addition, there are pipettes with a fixed and adjustable volume. In addition, dispensers are known in which the partial amount to be dispensed is adjustable. Furthermore, there are single-channel pipettes for use with only a single pipette tip, and multichannel pipettes for simultaneous use with several pipette tips or syringes.

[0007] Pipette tips or syringes preferably consist of plastic and can be thrown away as a disposable item after use, or respectively can be replaced with a fresh pipette tip or syringe. Pipette tips or syringes are provided in various sizes for dosing within various volume ranges.

[0008] Pipettes have operating elements for controlling the aspiration and discharge of liquid, and possibly for releasing the pipette tip or syringe from the pipette. They also have operating elements that can be used for the manual entry of user parameters (such as the dosing volume, dosing speed, material constants of the liquid, calibration data), and/or modes of operation (such as pipetting, dispensing, titrating, mixing), and/or operating procedures for processing samples (such as aspirating, mixing and discharging liquids). Furthermore, they are provided with a display unit that serves to display operating data (such as user parameters, mode of operation, operating procedures, operating state) of the pipette.

[0009] The operating and display units are primarily arranged on the top end of the pipette. The pipette housing generally widens there to accommodate these elements. Pipettes are known with an approximately rod-shaped housing that has a housing head on the top which is angled like a lectern and may protrude at one side. Electrical switches or respectively keys and at least one display are accommodated in this housing head. Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are conventional displays. Such pipettes are described in EP 1 825 915 A2, EP 1 859 869 A1 and EP 1 878 500 A1. As pipettes become increasingly complex, operating and display units are generally used with more complex entry devices and larger display units.

[0010] A disadvantage is that the pipettes protrude at the top due to the operating and display units that are contained therein, are heavy, and are nevertheless difficult to operate and read since they are small. This makes the pipettes difficult to handle, and there is a potential risk of misuse. In addition, a substantial part of the cost of the pipettes arises from the operating and display units. Complex tasks such as creating routines and programs with the integrated operating and display units are difficult to master. If pipettes are equipped with a smaller operating and display unit, this further reduces the ease of operation.

[0011] DE 199 11 397 A1 describes an autonomous pipette with a device control and a sensor unit for capturing operating data that has a wireless interface for transmitting data and/or for controlling the device. The pipette can be easier to control using this interface by means of remote control. The autonomous pipette can be used in a conventional manner without remote control. The autonomous pipette requires operating and display units to do this.

[0012] EP 0 999 432 B1 describes an electronic dosing system where routines for performing operating procedures can be entered into a manual dosing device by means of a data processing system via contacting or wireless data interfaces. In addition, operating parameters can be entered into the manual dosing device and the manual dosing device can be controlled by means of the data processing system. The operating parameters are user parameters (such as dosing volumes, dosing speeds), device-type specific parameters (such as parameters determining the plunger movement, parameters determining the quantity, parameters relating to the monitoring of operating states), or device-specific parameters (such as device identification, an ID code for a saved set of parameters). The manual dosing device has its own operating and display units.

[0013] A similar dosing system is described in WO 2005/052781 A2. The pipette is also provided with its own operating and display units.

[0014] US 7 640 787 B2 describes a verification unit for a pipette. The pipette has means for measuring a volume displaced by the plunger of the pipette, for comparing the measurement with a desired value, and for displaying an error. The reference to an error is displayed by an LCD display on the pipette. In addition, the result of the comparison can be transmitted wirelessly via an interface to a computer for recording. The pipette has its own operating units and its own meter for displaying the liquid volume to be released.

[0015] US 4 821 586 describes a pipette system in which a pipette is controlled by a programmed control unit to execute a dosing function selected from a set. This can be for example pipetting individual liquid volumes, dispensing several partial volumes of an aspirated liquid volume, and dilutions and titrations. The control unit also allows new programs for dispensing functions to be written and saved. The control unit contains the controls for the pipette, and is connected via a flexible electrical cable to the motor, switches and lamps of the pipette.

[0016] WO 89/10193 describes a pipetting apparatus comprising a stationary unit having a plunger pump, a stepping motor for driving the plunger pump, and a microprocessor for controlling the stepping motor. By means of an entry box that is connected via an electric cable to the microprocessor, data and programs can be entered into the microprocessor. The entry box comprises a display that requests control commands, reproduces the response, and displays the status of the device. A pipette handle has electronic operating elements to trigger various functions including aspiration, discharge and mixing functions. The electronic operating elements are connected to the microprocessor by means of a second electric cable, and the pipette handle is connected to the plunger pump by means of a pneumatic hose. A pipette tip is connectable to a connector of the pipette handle. The stationary unit with the plunger pump and microprocessor, the entry box and the handle are therefore device components that are separate from each other and are connected to each other by means of flexible leads.

[0017] DE 195 06 129 A1 describes a toothbrush that has a pressure sensor in its hand part to determine the correct pressure when brushing. The determined pressure values are supplied by means of a transmitter and a transmission antenna on the hand part to an external display unit provided with a reception antenna. This indicates whether brushing is occurring with sufficient pressure. In addition, the time of brushing can be detected and signaled for different tooth regions.

[0018] WO 2008/131874 A1 describes a method for the wireless, unidirectional transmission of data between a transmitter and a receiver, wherein the transmitter sequentially transmits a data record to be transmitted several times over a plurality of transmission channels, and the receiver receives data records on only one transmission channel. The number of transmission channels used is less than the number of repetitions with which the transmitter transmits the data record, and a sequence of transmission channels is used within which the sequence of transmission channels used is specified. Furthermore, it describes a toothbrush having a transmitter for executing the aforementioned procedure and a system consisting of a toothbrush and a separate auxiliary device, wherein a transmitter is in the toothbrush and a receiver is in the auxiliary device. The auxiliary device is provided with a display unit for displaying the transmitted data. For example, the pressure is determined in the toothbrush with which a user presses the brush attachment against the teeth while brushing, and/or the brushing time, and/or the charge of an accumulator contained in the handle for supplying the electrical toothbrush with power.

[0019] WO 98/257 36 A1 describes an electrical shaving system having an electric shaver and a remote control having a display unit for displaying specific data. The display unit displays status messages about the razor, and provides the user with feedback while shaving. The remote control can also be provided with buttons, keys or slider controls for setting the shaving parameters of the razor. Sensors for ambient conditions can also be contained in the remote control to supply the electric razor with information that is relevant for shaving comfort. The exchange of data between the remote control and razor can be wireless, and possibly bidirectional.

[0020] WO2007/121324 A1 discloses a system for guiding and tracking the execution of manual procedures. The system includes a support that holds multiple sample recepticals, computational circuitry to execute a protocol script that delivers instructions for executing various steps of the procedure, and a protocol progress sensor that advances the execution of the protocol script. An instrumented pipettor can communicate with the system for semi-automated execution of protocols. Pipettes are provided with a display for displaying the said dosage volume.

[0021] US 2005/0118069 A1 describes an electronic pipette comprising a display which is connected via wired or wireless connection to a computer which controls the operation of the pipette.

[0022] US 2009/0000350 A1 describes a hybrid manual-electronic pipette which combines a manually driven piston with real-time electronic measurement of liquid volume and piston displacement while compensating for both pipette-specific and pipette model-specific variations. An electronic display is provided in a handheld body of the pipette.

[0023] US 2009/0049933 A1 describes a pipetting device comprising an LCD-screen. The pipetting device is linked via a wireless transmission system to the wireless transmission system of an analysis automaton which comprises a man-machine interface.

[0024] US 2006/085162 A1 concerns apparatuses 4 and a method of transferring an assay protocol developed with an operator carried, handheld sample transfer tool to a robotic sample processor of a laboratory workstation. The method comprises attaching the handheld sample transfer tool to robotic sample processor of the laboratory workstation, so that the assay protocol can be automatically executed with the robotic sample processor of the laboratory workstation.

[0025] WO 02/090895 A1 describes a pipette comprising a monitoring means such as a microchip, an electronic escort memory, magnetic card, a smartcard or any similar indicator that can be identified. The monitoring means is associated with an external reading device. The monitoring means contains data that can be read and preferably also changed by the reading device. The monitoring device contains information about calibration. The pipettes are calibrated during their manufacture and in regular intervals. The pipettes are provided with the volume display for indicating set dosing volume which is calibrated.

[0026] US 2009/0055131 A1 describes a data acquisition apparatus adapted for use with the fluid dispensing device. The volume sensor is adapted to be mounted on a manual pipette, so as not to hinder the normal operation of said pipette. According to a preferred embodiment, the data acquisition apparatus is designed to work with a specific type of pipette as disclosed in US 5,413,006 or in US 4,576,780. Said pipettes each have a variable dosing volume and a display displaying the dosing volume.

[0027] US 2010/083775 A1 and US 2003/099578 A1 describe variable-volume pipettes provided with a mechanical display, i.e. a numerator or other entirely mechanical display.

[0028] Against this background, it is the object of the invention to provide a mechanical pipette with improved and/or expanded functioning and handling.

[0029] The object is achieved by a mechanical pipette device having the features of claim 1. Advantageous embodiments of the mechanical pipette are indicated in the dependent claims.

[0030] The mechanical pipette with a variable dosing volume according to the invention comprises:
  1. a. a manually drivable mechanical device for pipetting liquids,
  2. b. at least one sensor for detecting operating and/or performance data,
  3. c. an operating unit, comprising a dosing knob and an adjusting element for the dosing volume, and
  4. d. a display unit configured to display operating data and/or performance data,
  5. e. the pipette being divided into physically separate parts, that is, a device module and a physically separate display module,
  6. f. wherein the device module comprises the manually drivable mechanical unit for pipetting, the sensor and the operating unit, and wherein the device module does not have a display unit,
  7. g. wherein the display module completely comprises the display unit, and
  8. h. means are provided for wireless communication between the device module and the display module.


[0031] Conventionally, the parts of manually drivable, mechanical pipettes are combined into a physical unit. The operating and display elements are accommodated in a common housing with the mechanical unit for pipetting. The pipette according to the invention is divided into physically separate parts, that is, a device module and a physically separate display module. The device module comprises the mechanical unit for pipetting, the sensor and operating unit. The unit for pipetting comprises a displacement unit, a drive unit mechanically coupled thereto, and an operating element coupled thereto for driving the drive unit by the muscle power of the user. The pipette preferably has a conventional pushbutton or key for thumb actuation. The display module completely or partially comprises the display unit. In addition, the pipette according to the invention has means for wireless communication between the device module and the display module. These are designed such that they transmit data from the device module to the display module. The device module and the display module communicate unidirectionally via the means for wireless communication to undertake the data transmission necessary for the display. The user uses the mechanical pipette taking into account the displayed information. The communication from the operating and/or display unit to the device module is provided by the user. The device module only requires a small power supply unit for the sensor, means for converting the sensor signals, and the means for wireless communication belonging to the device module. A battery or accumulator or a capacitor are sufficient as the power supply unit.

[0032] The device module has no display unit in comparison to conventional laboratory devices. The display unit is completely transferred into a display module physically separate from the device module. The display module can provide all of the display functions of a conventional laboratory device. The device module without the operating and/or display module is preferably able to execute a preset operating state, but however not to set a new operating state with the assistance of a display unit. By actuating the operating unit, generated data can be transmitted in real time between the device module and display module.

[0033] According to the invention, the handling of the pipette is improved by completely removing the display unit from the device module and placing it in a separate display module. The device module can be designed in a more space-saving and lighter manner than a conventional mechanical pipette. The display module can also have a more user-friendly display unit than a conventional pipette. In particular, the display unit can have a screen with a better size and/or resolution than a conventional pipette. Given a suitable size of the display unit, an improved and more extensive display of information are provided than with conventional pipettes. This relates in particular to data from the pipette that otherwise cannot be displayed due to lack of space. With the display module, in particular operating data (such as operating parameters, modes, operating procedures, operating states) and/or performance data (such as measuring results, dosing amounts, yield) of the device module can be output. The display module can be located separately from the device module to make it easier to operate the pipette and/or improve the perceptibility of the displayed information. The display module is thereby in communication with the device module to perform the exchange of data necessary for displaying information.

[0034] According to the invention, the entire display unit is arranged in the display module. According to another variant not forming part of the present invention, the display unit is mainly arranged in the display module. Accordingly, the larger and/or higher resolution display unit is arranged in the display module, and the smaller display unit is arranged in the device module. In particular, the device module can be equipped with only a few operating elements for basic functions (such as triggering a process and ejecting a single article) and/or an ancillary display for part of the data, and the display module can be equipped with a display unit for all of the data to be displayed. The operation of the device module is made easier when it is only equipped with a single or a few operating elements.

[0035] According to one embodiment, the device module has only part of the functionally necessary operating units of the laboratory device, and the other functionally necessary operating units are arranged at the operating and display module. According to a further embodiment, only part of the functionally necessary operating units are arranged at the device module as well as at the operating and display module, so that part of the functionally necessary operating units are arranged at both modules. For example, the only functionally necessary operating and/or display units of a mechanical pipette with a variable dosing volume are a pushbutton, an adjusting element (such as a dial or a knob) for the dosing volume, and a volume display for the set dosing volume. In addition to the aforementioned operating and/or display units, a mechanical pipette with a variable dosing volume and pipette tip ejector has an ejector button for the ejector for ejecting the pipette tip. The device module preferably has the dosing knob, the adjusting element and - if there is an ejector - the ejector button, and the display module has the display unit. The functionally necessary operating and/or display units of an electronic pipette with a variable volume and pipette tip ejector consist of a dosing knob for triggering dosing steps, an adjusting element for adjusting the dosing volume, a display unit for displaying the set dosing volume, and an ejector button for the ejector. For example, the device module has the dosing knob and ejector knob, and the operating and display module has the adjusting element and display unit. In a further embodiment, the device module has the dosing knob and ejector knob and the operating and display unit has the adjusting element and display unit and additionally a dosing knob and/or ejector knob.

[0036] According to one example not forming part of the present invention, the laboratory device has operating units for starting, controlling and ending workflows, and at least one display unit. In addition, at least some of the operating and/or display units are arranged on the device module, and at least some of the operating and/or display units are arranged on the operating and/or display module. This decreases the equipping of the device module with operating and/or display units. According to one embodiment, the operating and display module - in addition to the other operating and display units - has additional operating units that the device module also has. This optionally allows certain operations to be performed with the operating and display module or the device module. According to another embodiment, the laboratory device has operating units for adjusting and/or programming workflows, and these operating units are assigned to the device module and operating and display module corresponding to the operating units for starting, controlling and ending workflows. According to one embodiment, the device module only has operating units for starting and/or controlling and/or ending workflows, and the operating and display module has the other operating units. In the invention, the display units are exclusively arranged on the operating and/or display module.

[0037] The display unit enables savings since it can be designed to be useable for a plurality of device modules of the same kind and/or for device modules that are different. This consequently enables a plurality of equivalent or respectively different device modules to manage with a single display module. In addition, the manufacturer achieves a higher number of units with one specific display module which enables more economic production. The display unit can in particular display operating data and/or performance data from the laboratory device. A plurality of device modules can be operated sequentially with the same display module. It is also possible however to operate a plurality of device modules simultaneously using the same display module. To this end, the means for wireless communication can comprise a plurality of channels, and to each device module is assigned a channel. Communication via a single channel is also possible, and the device modules can for example be assigned by means of device-specific data packets. Furthermore, one device module can work together with a plurality of display modules, for example to operate the device module from several locations, and/or to display information about the work of the device module at several locations.

[0038] A "pipette" is to be understood in particular as the pipette described in the introduction of the description with a manually drivable, mechanical drive unit.

[0039] According to one embodiment, the device module comprises an electronic control unit for detecting operating data from the unit for pipetting. The control unit can for example comprise at least one sensor for detecting operating data from the device module, and electronics for converting the signal of the sensor into a signal suitable for wireless communication.

[0040] According to one embodiment, the sensor is a sensor for detecting the set and/or actually dosed dosing volume. The sensor is, for example, a sensor for detecting the rotational position of a knob for the dosing volume, or a sensor for detecting the position of a stop for limiting the stroke of a displacement organ of a displacement unit, or a sensor for detecting the respective position or reached end position of a manually-controlled stroke of a displacement organ of the displacement unit (such as a plunger in a cylinder). Displacement sensors can be used for this. If the display unit displays the actually dosed dosing volume, it can display the currently achieved dosing volume and/or the dosing volume displayed when the end position is reached.

[0041] According to one embodiment, the sensor is a step counter for counting dosing steps, a force sensor for measuring the attachment force of a pipette tip, a set-down or contact sensor for detecting the setting down of a pipette tip on a base, an acceleration sensor, or a proximity sensor for detecting the use of the device module.

[0042] According to another embodiment, the sensor is a sensor for detecting data of an RFID chip integrated in the device module.

[0043] According to another embodiment, data is exchanged between the device module and operating and/or display module according to the NFC (near field communication) transmission standard. NFC traces its roots back to radio-frequency identification (RFID). However, different from the RFID technology which only allows a reader to send radio waves to a passive electronic tag for identification and tracking, the NFC enables active communication between device module and the operating and/or display module or modules. NFC tags in the devices are either read-only or rewritable. There are two modes of NFC communication between the device module and operating and/or display module/s: passive communication mode whereby the initiator device provides a carrier field and the target device answers by modulating the existing field. In this mode, the target device may draw its operating power from the initiator-provided electromagnetic field, thus making the target device a transponder. In the active communication mode both initiator and target device communicate by alternately generating their own fields. A device deactivates its radiofrequency field while it is waiting for data. In this mode, both devices typically have power supplies. NFC is specially useful for authentication of the communication partners (device module and operating and/or display module/s) and increases the security that only approved devices communicate, i.e. share data, with each other.

[0044] A plurality of equivalent or different sensors of the aforementioned type can be accommodated together in one device module.

[0045] According to another embodiment, the display module is designed such that it recognizes the respective device module when communicating with one device module of a plurality of device modules, and automatically sets a device-specific user interface on the display unit. To this end, the means for wireless communication can transmit data from different device modules on different channels, or data from different device modules each with a device-specific ID. Alternately, the display module can be designed such that the device-specific user interface can be set using a list offered by the display module, and/or by entering a device number and/or device name.

[0046] If a display module with one or more device modules is used by several users, a personalization function can be integrated in the display module. According to one embodiment, the display module is consequently designed such that one or more specific device modules can only be used when a proof of authorization is entered. This for example makes it possible to prevent device modules intended for specific purposes from being contaminated by deviating uses. According to one embodiment, the display module is designed such that authorization is proved by entering a password and/or scanning a fingerprint and/or a retina scan and/or an RFID acknowledge character generator, and/or data exchange via the NFC transmission protocol and/or other suitable methods. According to one embodiment, the display module is designed such that certain measuring results and other data can only be created, displayed or processed when proof of authorization is entered.

[0047] Furthermore, an organization function can be integrated in the laboratory device. According to one embodiment, the display module is designed with an integrated reservation function according to which the pipette can be blocked to certain users for certain periods. By means of an assigned identification, the device is reserved to specifically identifiable persons and/or groups of persons for whom the pipette is reserved during precisely specified periods. According to another embodiment, the display module is designed to output information on whether the pipette is free for use, if use is finished, or the status reached by an ongoing application.

[0048] According to one embodiment, the display module has switches and/or keys and/or a keyboard and/or a microphone and/or a screen (display) and/or a touch-sensitive screen (touchscreen) and/or a loudspeaker and/or an acoustic signal generator. The display module can be operated with particular ease using the keyboard. The microphone enables operation by speech input. In addition to alphanumeric characters, images and/or symbols can be shown using the screen. The screen can in particular be an LCD, LED, TFT or CRT. By means of the loudspeaker and/or the acoustic signal generator, acoustic information can also be emitted (such as speech output and/or signal tones). The acoustic emission of noises, tones or other frequencies can be used to direct the operator.

[0049] The display unit can be equipped with correspondingly designed electronic controls for identifying device modules and/or selecting a user-interface and/or interpreting by means of a personalization function and/or an organization function, and/or outputting information.

[0050] According to another embodiment, the device module can be handheld (that is, it can be held in the hand when being used by a user) and/or the display module is portable (that is, it can be carried by the user and placed at a setup site of the user's choice). The advantages of the invention are particularly manifest with a device module that can be handheld. In comparison with conventional mechanical pipettes, it is easier to handle due to the more compact shape and the reduced and better distributed weight. A portable display module can be placed by the user so that is optimally within reach for use and optimally arranged in the user's field of vision when the pipette is being used. A handheld display module can be carried by the user during use.

[0051] The display module can be a device created specifically for use in the laboratory device according to the invention. According to one embodiment, the display module is a mobile phone and/or a personal digital assistant and/or a combination of a mobile phone and personal digital assistant (smartphone). Newly developed or commercially available products of the above kind can be used. In particular, smartphones with the IOS operating system (Apple Corporation) or Android (Google Inc.), or also with operating systems of other manufacturers can be used. In particular, the iPhone by Apple Corporation can be used which can be equipped with a special program to be developed (an app).

[0052] Corresponding to the need of the laboratory device user, so-called tablet computers such as the IPad (Apple Corporation), Playbook (RIM Research in Motion) or Galaxy Tab by Samsung can also be used, including the required apps.

[0053] The screen preferably has a high resolution of at least approximately 480 x 320 pixels with approximately 150 ppi, preferably at least 960 x 640 pixels. The minimum diagonal of the screen is preferably 3.5 inches or 8.89 cm. Screens can be used for displaying in black-and-white and/or in color.

[0054] Buttons, arrows and other keys can be used as operating elements analogous to the keyboards of PDAs, smartphones, etc. Alternatively, the screen can be a touchscreen analogous to an iPhone and have a simulated keyboard, for example according to the standards of the Apple developer kits. This also includes multi-touch displays and screens with an oleophobic fingerprint-resistant coating. Alternately, other pressure or respectively touch-sensitive entry devices can be used as operating elements, including the necessary measures for recognizing text. Voice entry can also be an alternative. In the case of pressure or contact-sensitive entry media, the function of a gesture pad can be implemented according to Apple standards and/or beyond.

[0055] According to another embodiment, the display module comprises a front view display (Head-UP-Display - HD) and/or a transparent display screen that can be placed in front of the work area. These embodiments allow the information to be optimally arranged within the user's field of vision. According to another embodiment, these are equipped with keys and/or a keypad and/or other operating elements.

[0056] According to one embodiment, the pipette comprises an electronic data processing system physically separate from the device module and display module, and comprises means for communicating wirelessly or by wire between the display module and the electronic data processing system. The electronic data processing system comprises for example a computer and/or network and/or server. By means of the data processing system, data obtained from one or more pipettes can be evaluated and/or processed further and/or compressed and/or saved. The data can be analyzed and/or processed further and/or compressed and/or saved, and/or the device modules and/or operating and/or display modules can be centrally updated by means of the electronic data processing system in a particularly user-friendly manner.

[0057] According to another embodiment, the means for wireless communication communicate by means of radio waves and/or optically and/or inductively and/or capacitively. The communication can comprise all present and future technologies and protocols. Particularly suitable are RF protocols such as for keyboards or mice, Bluetooth, WLAN (wireless local area network), WCUSB (wireless certified USB), Zigbee and 4G. Typical formats for this are Bluetooth 2.1 plus EDR, UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/GSM/EDGE or Wi-fi 802.11b/g/n. For optical transmission, transmission by means of infrared radiation is possible, especially according to the Infrared Data Association (IrDA).

[0058] The transmission of data by radio is described in WO 2008/131874 A1, DE 195 06 129 A1, DE 199 24 017 A, US 2004/152479 A, and WO 95/34960 A. The techniques described therein can be used within the context of the present invention. The related descriptions of the aforementioned documents are included in the application by means of reference.

[0059] According to one embodiment, the display module is releasably connectable to the device module. The pipette can be used when the display module is separate from the device module. In addition, the modules can be used in a connected state like a conventional pipette. They can form a handheld and/or stationery pipette in a connected state.

[0060] According to another embodiment, the pipette has an electrical charger for charging an electrical energy storage unit of the device module and/or display module. The electrical energy storage unit is preferably an accumulator or respectively a battery such as a lithium-ion battery. According to another embodiment, the charger is connectable via electric contacts to the device module and/or the display module. According to another embodiment, the device module has an electrical charger for charging an electrical energy storage unit of the display module. This allows an electric energy storage unit of the display module to be charged using the electric charger of the device module. According to an alternate embodiment, the display module has an electric charger for charging an electric energy storage unit of a device module. This allows the electric energy storage unit of the device module to be charged with the assistance of the display module. The display module is preferably provided with an electric charger since it is often unnecessary for the display module to be easy to handle and can frequently be stationary during use.

[0061] According to another embodiment, the device module and the display module have contacts that are connectable with each other for communication and/or transmitting an electrical charge between the device module and display module.

[0062] According to one embodiment, the sensor and/or the means for wireless communication of the device module are encapsulated so that the entire device module can be autoclaved. The power supply unit is therefore removed as needed from the device module. According to another embodiment, the power supply unit, and possibly the means for wireless communication, and possibly the sensor, are accommodated in an electronics module that is releasably connected to the device module and can be disconnected from the device module for autoclaving. The electronics module can for example be snapped or clipped onto the device module. The electronics module and/or the device module are therefore provided with means for snapping on or respectively clipping on.

[0063] According to one embodiment, the device module has a maximum of three operating elements. According to one embodiment, the device module has an operating element for starting, and possibly for controlling, and possibly for ending dosing procedures. According to another embodiment, the device module has another operating element for ejecting a pipette tip or syringe from the device module. According to another embodiment, the device module has another operating element for setting the dosing volume to be dosed.

[0064] According to one embodiment, a device module has a pushbutton as the operating element for moving a displacement organ of the displacement unit. In this embodiment, the device module preferably has a spring that moves the displacement organ and the pushbutton back into a home position after a discharge stroke, and the displacement organ executes the aspiration stroke. The pushbutton is a drive element for manually operating a mechanical drive unit. To release the pipette tip or syringe, there is another operating element according to one embodiment that is coupled to an ejector which disconnects the pipette tip or syringe from its seat when the other operating element is actuated. According to one embodiment, the pushbutton is coupled to the ejector and also serves to release the pipette tip or syringe. The pushbutton is thereby actuated beyond the dispensing stroke so that an ejector coupled to the pushbutton acts on the pipette tip or syringe in order to disconnect it from its seat in the device module. According to another embodiment, the device module has a knob or dial for setting the dosing volume. The knob or respectively dial is coupled to a unit for setting the dosing volume of the device module that for example has an adjustable deflection for limiting the stroke of the displacement organ of the displacement unit. This device module manages with a single operating element.

[0065] The device module of the pipette does not have a display unit.

[0066] According to a preferred embodiment, the device module has a long handle body. According to another embodiment of the pipette, the device module is designed at the top end without a wide head. According to another embodiment, the handle body is rod-shaped. Accordingly, the handle body has the shape, or substantially the shape, of a rod.

[0067] According to another embodiment, the display module is arranged on a pipette holder. According to another embodiment, the pipette holder has an electrical charger for charging an electrical energy storage unit of the device module of the pipette.

[0068] According to another embodiment of the pipette, the device module has a manually drivable mechanical drive unit for an ejector.

[0069] According to one embodiment, the at least one operating and/or display unit is designed such that it only communicates with device modules within a specific spatial range. To accomplish this, the means for wireless communication, for example, has a specific and/or settable range and a unit that makes it possible to determine whether the device module is located within a predetermined range around the operating and/or display module, for example based on the strength of the received radio signal. The specified range of the means for wireless communication is preferably 5 m, especially preferably 2 m, and most preferably 1 m.

[0070] According to another embodiment, the specified spatial range is limited by a maximum distance, or by a room or a part of a room, or a plurality of rooms of a building. If the specified spatial range is limited to one or more rooms or parts of a room of a building, an identification is archived in the device modules that are located in a specific spatial range. The identification can be archived in the device module by means of the operating and/or display module, or it can be saved therein by means of an operating unit of the device module. The identification can be archived from a central location by radio using a unit that has implemented identifications assigned to a building layout. The assigned identification in the respective device module determines the location of the device modules. The location data can be entered into the respective laboratory device and transmitted to the central unit, or entered directly into the central unit. The location and identification can be transmitted wirelessly, preferably by radio.

[0071] The operating and/or display unit determines the ID of the device modules, and displays device modules that are within a specified spatial range. The user selects the specified spatial range(s) at which the operating and/or display module will display the device modules. With the assistance of the operating and/or display module, one or more device modules can be operated and/or monitored from the specified spatial range. Accordingly, the device modules can be operated and/or monitored from several specified spatial ranges using the operating and/or display module. According to one embodiment, the operating and/or display module simultaneously displays the data of a plurality of device modules and simultaneously allows a plurality of device modules to be operated and/or monitored by means of an input unit.

[0072] In addition, the invention comprises a pipette system having a plurality of device modules according to any one of claims 1 to 20, and at least one display module according to one of claims 1 to 20, or at least one device module according to one of claims 1 to 20, and a plurality of display modules according to one of claims 1 to 20, wherein the means for wireless communication has a specific and/or settable range and a unit that makes it possible to determine whether the or a device module is located within a predetermined range around the or a display module.

[0073] The invention will be further explained with reference to the accompanying drawings of exemplary embodiments.

[0074] The drawings show:
Fig. 1
A conventional pipette in a highly schematic block diagram;
Fig. 2 a and b
Variants of pipettes according to the invention in highly schematic block diagrams;
Fig. 3 a to c
Variants of pipettes according to the invention in block diagrams;
Fig. 4 a and b
A schematic perspective view of a pipette according to the invention (Fig. 4a) and in a front view with available modules (Fig. 4b);
Fig. 5 a to c
A device module of a pipette according to the invention in a front view (Fig. 5a), in a side view (Fig. 5b) and with a pipette tip in a rear view (Fig. 5c);
Fig. 6 a to e
Front view of variants of a transparent display unit;
Fig. 7
A perspective view at an angle from the side of a transparent display unit integrated in an automated laboratory system;
Fig. 8
Another variant of a transparent display unit in a side view;
Fig. 9 a to e
Front view of additional variants of a transparent display unit.


[0075] According to Fig. 1, a conventional pipette 1.1 has a unit for pipetting liquids 2 and an operating and display unit 3. The operating and display unit 3 comprises an operating unit 4 and a display unit 5. The unit for pipetting liquids 2 and the operating and display unit 3 are physically combined in a common housing 6.1.

[0076] With a pipette according to the invention 1.2 according to Fig. 2 a, the unit for pipetting 2 and the operating unit 4 are part of a device module 7 having a compact housing 6.2. The display unit 5 is accommodated in a housing 6.3 of a display module 8 completely physically separate from the device module 7.

[0077] In addition, the device module 7 and the display module 8 have means for wireless communication 9 that comprise an interface for the wireless communication 10 of the device module 7 and an interface for the wireless communication 11 of the display module 8.

[0078] The pipette has unidirectional means for wireless communication 9. It transmits in particular operating data detected in the device module 7 from the device module 7 to the display module 8.

[0079] The pipette 1.3 in Fig. 2 b differs from the variant in Fig. 2 a in that only a part of the display unit 5 is transferred to the display module 8. Correspondingly, the device module 7 has the operating unit 4 and parts of the display unit 5. In particular, it is possible to transfer the display element that needs to provide very easily identifiable images, whereas display elements for basic functions are available in the device module 7.

[0080] The pipette 1.4 in Fig. 3 a comprises a device module 7, a display module 8, and a computer 12. The display module 8 is preferably portable. It is for example a PDA. A touchscreen is preferably used as the display unit 5. The communication between the operating and/or display module is wireless (for example by radio). In particular, one or more of the indicated technologies (Bluetooth, WC USB, W-Lan, ZigBee, IrDA or 4G) can be used for communication. A router is also available for using a WLAN. WLAN enables large distances to be bridged. Furthermore, communication can take place via a modem 13.

[0081] The pipette 1.4 can be designed such that wired communication between the modules 7, 8 is also possible. To this end, the device module 7 and the display module 8 each have electrical contacts that can be contacted with each other. To do this, the modules 7, 8 can for example be mechanically connected to each other by being clipped on, magnetically attached or suspended. The modules 7, 8 may also be electrically connectable with each other by means of cables. After electrical contact between the modules 7, 8 is established, the pipette 1.4 can be used in a conventional manner as a stationary or handheld pipette.

[0082] Communication between the display module 8 and computer 12 can occur wirelessly by means of one of the cited technologies, by wire, or by contacts.

[0083] The computer 12 makes it particularly easy to perform tasks that otherwise need to be done using the display module 8. Examples of this are the evaluation of operating data (in particular measuring results) of the device modules 7, and the structured storage of operating data (in particular measuring results).

[0084] A pipette 1.5 according to Fig. 3 b comprises a device module 7 having at least one sensor 14 for detecting operating data. The device module 7 has operating elements 15.

[0085] A display module 8 also exists that can be designed so that it only comprises a display unit 5 in the form of a screen 16, and not an operating unit.

[0086] The operating data are transmitted from the device module 7 to the display module 8 wirelessly by means for wireless communication 9 using one of the aforementioned technologies, and possibly also by wire or contacts.

[0087] The sensor 14 is for example a sensor for detecting the set and/or actually dosed dosing volume, a step counter for counting dosing steps, a force sensor for measuring the attachment force of a pipette tip, a set-down or contact sensor for detecting the setting down of a pipette tip on a base, an acceleration sensor, a proximity sensor for detecting the use of the device module 7, or a tilt sensor for detecting the alignment of the device module 7. The tilt sensor serves to improve the precision of the device module by detecting the tilt of the device module.

[0088] Furthermore, a sensor 14 can be used that for example is a sensor for detecting data from an RFID chip integrated in the device module. The data from the RFID chip can also be read out of the device module 7 by means of a suitable reader of the operating and/or display module 8.

[0089] Unidirectional communication from the device module 7 to the display module 8 occurs by means of the means for wireless communication 9. This method is economical, fast and uncomplicated. The operating data detected by the sensor 14 are transmitted in real time, displayed and possibly permanently saved in the display module 8. The user can be guided when using the laboratory device 1.5, wherein additional acoustic signals may also be emitted by the display module 8.

[0090] The data selection permits the following additional uses:
When the set volume and its change are displayed, interactive volume setting is possible. The user can perceive the set volume at a location that is useful for his work.

[0091] The display module 8 can be equipped with a calibration function. This allows the entry of a material constant (such as viscosity) of the liquid to be dosed or the geographic height of the respective location, and displays the assigned calibrated dosing volume for a desired dosing volume. The user can then set these, possibly interactively.

[0092] Furthermore, the display module 8 can determine and display a service interval. The laboratory device can offer a call for service, for example by e-mail or SMS that can be triggered by the user. The pipette can in principle also automatically call for service.

[0093] In addition, the display module 8 can be designed so that it displays the perfect seat of the pipette tip, and/or emits a warning and/or error message when the pipette tip is not attached with the necessary attachment force and/or the pipette tip is seated on a base, and/or when the device module 7 is improperly aligned.

[0094] The detected operating data can be transmitted by the display module 8 to a downstream application. The transmission can be to a computer 12, network, server, etc. The transmission can be wireless or wired according to one of the aforementioned technologies.

[0095] The device module 7 requires an electrical power supply 17 to operate the sensor 14, a unit for converting the signals of the sensor 14 (such as an A/D converter), and the interface for wirelessly communicating with the display module 8. This can be done by means of accumulators such as lithium-ion batteries. The accumulators can be charged by means of electrical contacts using a charger 18. This can also charge an electrical power supply 19 for the display module 8.

[0096] The transmission protocol of the device module 7 allows the display module 8 to identify the device module 7. Consequently, a plurality of device modules 7 can work together with the display module 8, and operating data from a plurality of device modules 7 can be assigned to them. The operating data of a plurality of device modules 7 can therefore be displayed together in a clearly assignable manner.

[0097] According to one embodiment, the operating and/or display module 8 contains a cell phone with a SIM card (subscriber identity module) to enable data to be transmitted via the mobile phone network. The device module 7 can be correspondingly equipped with a cell phone and a SIM card.

[0098] When designing a pipette, a plurality of device modules 7 can be kept ready on a pipette holder for a plurality of pipettes. The pipette holder can for example be designed as a carousel having a rotatable carrier with holders for pipettes at the top end of a stand. The pipette holder can be combined with the display module 8. For example, six device modules 7 can be combined with one display module 8 on one pipette holder.

[0099] According to Fig. 3c, the laboratory device 1.6 comprises a device module 7 having a control unit 20 for controlling the unit for handling liquids. Furthermore, it has a display module 8 comprising a screen 16 and a rudimentary keyboard with keys 21. The means for wireless communication 9 enables unidirectional communication. The aforementioned techniques of wireless communication can be used. In particular, the wireless communication can occur by means of a WLAN via a router or modem 13.

[0100] Optionally, the laboratory device comprises a computer 12 that can be coupled wirelessly or by wire to the display module 8.

[0101] The display module 8 can for example be realized by means of a smartphone 22. A suitable program can be developed and for example made available on the Internet.

[0102] The display module 8 and the device module 7 are connected by unidirectional means for wireless communication 9. Operating data can be transmitted via unidirectional means for wireless communication 9 from the device module 7 to the smartphone 22 and displayed thereby corresponding to the exemplary embodiment in Fig. 3b.

[0103] According to one embodiment, the electrical charger 18 for the power supply of various device modules 7 and/or display modules 8 can be combined into a single power supply that is connectable to the modules 7, 8 via electrical contacts.

[0104] According to Fig. 4a, a pipette 1.7 comprises a device module 7 with a displacement unit and drive unit. In addition, the pipette comprises a display module 8 having an operating unit 4 in the form of keys 21, and a display unit 5 in the form of a screen 16. The device module 7 and display module 8 have interfaces 10, 11 for wireless communication.

[0105] The display unit 5 can be disconnected from the display module 8. After disconnecting the display module 8, the display unit 5 can be attached as a mobile clip to the clock, clothes, or other objects within the visual range of the user.

[0106] Fig. 4a shows the device module 7 being used as a handheld pipette.

[0107] Furthermore, the device module 7 of the pipette can be connected via a stand 23 with the display module 8 to a stationary pipette as shown in Fig. 4b.

[0108] Fig. 5 a to c display an exemplary embodiment of a handheld device module 7 of a pipette according to the invention. The device module 7 has an elongated, essentially rod-shaped handle body24.

[0109] The handle body 24 has a front grip surface 25 that is approximately straight in the bottom part of the handle body in a vertical sectional plane through the handle body 24 that is the plane of the drawing in Fig. 5 b, and curves continuously across the handle body toward a thumb rest 25.1 in the top part of the handle body 24 above the area that comes into contact with the surface of the hand. The front grip surface 25 is only convex in one direction, and the front grip surface 25 in the bottom part of the handle body 24 is nearly flat and narrow, and gradually widens in the top part of the handle body 24 above the area that comes into contact with the surface of the hand, and curves across the handle body toward the thumb rest 25.1 that is enclosed by a radius at the top end of the handle body 24.

[0110] The handle body 24 has a rear grip surface 26 having a recess 26.1 below the top end. In the vertical sectional plane through the front grip surface 25 that is the plane of the drawing in Fig. 5 b, the rear grip surface 26 is nearly straight at the bottom, above which it initially curves inward in the seat area for the index finger, and then curves outward in an opposite direction further above. Above that, it touches the top end of the thumb resting area 25.1. The rear grip surface 26 curves on both sides of the vertical sectional plane toward the lateral grip surfaces 27.1, 27.2 that terminate with a gradually decreasing curvature on the two sides toward the front grip surface 24 with which they meet on both sides in a bevel 27.3, 27.4. Alternately, the side grip surfaces 27.1, 27.2 can be designed approximately flat so that a wider bevel exists, preferably with a radius in each case, between the rear grip surface 26 and the side grip surfaces 27.1, 27.2.

[0111] The handle body 24 narrows while descending below the seat area for the index finger, achieving a pleasant downward narrowing of the volume. In the vertical sectional plane that divides the front grip surface 25, the handle body 24 narrows more strongly than in a vertical sectional plane perpendicular thereto, and the degree of narrowing gradually decreases between these vertical sectional planes.

[0112] The height of the handle body 24 is 100 to 180 mm and/or the circumference is 80 to 130 mm. The handle body 24 with dimensions within the indicated ranges is considered pleasant by users with different hand sizes. The height of the handle body 24 is preferably 120 to 140 mm and/or the circumference is preferably 90 to 120 mm. The preferred height is 133 mm, and/or the preferred circumference is 105 mm. The circumference is measured at the thickest point of the handle body 24.

[0113] The depth and height of the recess 26.1 are dimensioned so that an average index finger aligned perpendicular to the plane of the drawing in Fig. 5b can be inserted therein and moved to actuate the other operating element 30.2. The depth is preferentially 5 to 20 mm and preferably 10 to 15 mm, for example approximately 12.75 mm. The height is preferentially 20 to 60 mm and preferably 35 to 50 mm, for example approximately 40 mm.

[0114] A seat 28.1 for a pipette tip 28.2 is arranged on a tubular carrier 28 that projects downward from the bottom end of the handle body 24.

[0115] The tubular carrier 28 is conical and/or stepped, and narrows downward gradually and/or in steps. At the bottom end, a conical or cylindrical end section of the tubular carrier 28 forms the seat 28.1 for attaching a pipette tip 28.2. Between the tubular carrier 28 with the seat 28.1 for the pipette tip and the handle body 24, there is a joint (not shown) for pivoting the seat 28.1 with reference to the handle body 24. By means of the joint, the alignment of the seat 28.1 with reference to the handle can be adapted to the position of the user in the respective working position. In addition, the joint allows the hand position to be changed between work cycles and thereby reduces the concentrated load acting on the user of a pipette when the seat 28.1 is arranged fixedly with reference to the handle body 24.

[0116] A fixing unit for fixing the joint in a specific position exists between the seat 28.1 and the handle body 24. The fixing device has a threaded ring 29 for clamping the joint tight at the bottom end of the handle body. By means of the fixing device, the alignment of the seat 28.1 can be fixed with reference to the handle body 24 so that it does not unintentionally shift.

[0117] The handle body 24 comprises a displacement unit (not shown) with a displacement organ and a drive unit coupled thereto. The displacement unit is preferably a cylinder having a plunger displaceable therein as the displacement organ. The drive unit is a manually driven mechanical drive unit.

[0118] An operating element 30.1 that can actuated by a thumb is arranged in the thumb rest 25.1. The operating element 30.1 is a knob-shaped button. In a vertical section, the button is lens-shaped and projects slightly upward beyond the front grip surface 25.

[0119] The operating element 30.1 is a pushbutton by means of which the operating procedures or parts of operating procedures can be controlled.

[0120] Another operating element 30.2 is arranged in the recess 26.1 in the rear grip surface 26. The other operating element 30.2 is the operating element of a tip ejector 30.3, i.e., a device for ejecting or respectively releasing a pipette tip or syringe from the pipette.

[0121] The other operating element 30.2 is a toggle switch. It is saddle-shaped so that it fits the shape of the rear grip surface 26 of the recess 26.1 and the transition to the side surfaces 27.1, 27.2. The additional operating element 30.2 projects slightly beyond the rear grip surface 26.

[0122] The additional operating element 30.2 is coupled to a mechanical drive unit (not shown) that is coupled to a tip ejector 30.3 that is assigned to the seat 28.1 for a pipette tip or syringe in order release a pipette tip located there from the seat when the additional operating element is actuated.

[0123] The tip ejector 30.3 is a sleeve arranged on the tubular carrier 28, and the tubular carrier 28 and sleeve can be displaced relative to each other by means of the mechanical drive unit. To eject a pipette tip 28.2 from the seat 28.1 at the bottom end of the tubular carrier 28, the sleeve 30.3 is shifted further toward the bottom end of the tubular carrier 28 to push off a pipette tip 28.3 located there. Conversely, the tubular carrier 28 can be withdrawn deeper into the sleeve 30.3.

[0124] A display unit (not shown) such as an LCD display is optionally arranged in the front grip surface 25. The display unit preferably has an elongated shape that extends in the longitudinal direction of the front grip surface 25. The display unit is preferably arranged in the bottom part of the handle. It serves to display operating data such as a mode of operation, or the dosing volume and/or the charge of a battery or an accumulator and/or an error message and/or a warning.

[0125] The device module 7 can be designed compact and light with a favorable weight distribution. The operating elements 30.1, 30.2 are arranged ergonomically.

[0126] To follow are exemplary embodiments of display modules 8 that are transparent so that the user can look through the display unit 5 at the workplace. The advantage is that the user can continuously look at the field of work as well as the display output by the display unit. The display unit 5 can be designed as follows:
  1. a) As a pane that can be folded up in front of the workplace as needed. The pane is preferably designed to be mobile and even more preferably glare-free.
  2. b) As a small, transparent display unit that only extends partially into the visual field of the user.
  3. c) As glasses, especially safety glasses, that are supplied with the corresponding data.
  4. d) As a single-eye, transparent display that is located directly in front of the eye of the user.
  5. e) As a microscopic visual field.
  6. f) As a screen (such as an LCD or TFT).
  7. g) As a complete workplace including fixed and/or variable locations for device modules.


[0127] The data can be supplied in real time to the display unit in one or more color for example by:
  1. a) A collimator having a corresponding deflection.
  2. b) By LCD or LED elements invisibly embedded at fixed positions in the display unit, preferably a head-up display. These focus preferably on the visual plane of the user.
  3. c) By using the entire display unit as an LED or LCD display unit (such as OLEDs).
  4. d) By combining the HD display with a touch-sensitive surface element and simultaneously using it as a touchscreen.
    By means of a wireless connection to the executing device module, configuration as well as start and stop commands can be transmitted.
  5. e) The transparent display unit can simultaneously be the central processing unit for controlling the device to be operated with which it is wirelessly connected.


[0128] According to Fig. 6 a, the pane 31.1 of a display unit 5 is movably attached to a pedestal-like carrier 32.1.

[0129] According to 6 b, a smaller pane 31.2 is held on one side by an L-shaped carrier 32.2 so that it extends laterally into the visual field of work. In this arrangement, the display can also be attached with adjustable height. This arrangement can already be permanently installed or installed by the user in a manner appropriate for his application.

[0130] According to Fig. 6 c, the pane 31.3 is arranged above the work surface and for example held by a carrier 32.3 in the form of a portal.

[0131] In Fig. 6 d, the pane 31.4 is held in the bottom area of the visual field of work by a carrier 32.4. In this design, the pane 31.4 primarily serves as a display element that only has to be looked at occasionally.

[0132] Fig. 6 e shows a large pane 31.5 that, for example, can be a pane of a cover consisting of transparent material of a laboratory device. It can for example be the cover of a safety workbench, dosing station, workstation, or a radiation protection screen made of glass or plastic.

[0133] Fig. 7 displays the pane 31.5 from Fig. 6e in a dosing station 33. The pane 31.5 also comprises an operating unit 4 with keys 21.

[0134] Fig. 8 shows a pane 31.6 that is embedded in a laboratory table 34 in front of a work surface 35 and can be folded up into the visual field of the user.

[0135] Fig. 9 a to e show panes 31.7 to 31.11 of various designs and locations in the field of work and visual field 36 of the user.

[0136] The panes 31.1 to 31.4 and 31.6 to 31.11 are designed so that the user can extend his arms on the sides, above or below the pane and can work behind the display unit with his tools.

[0137] The panes 31.1 to 31.11 can consist of glass or plastic, and the information can be projected on the panes by means of a projection unit. The display unit 5 can also be correspondingly designed as a head-up display (HD).

[0138] In addition, the panes 31 can also be designed as an LCD screen. LCD screens are in principle completely transparent. The polarization is intentionally changed only at the places provided with liquid crystal so that they appear black or respectively colored. The pane can also be used entirely as a multilayer active LCD screen, or only at specific locations at which preprinted symbols can be displayed next to alphanumeric characters. In addition, a pressure-sensitive film with correspondingly large pressure fields with any type of sensor technology can be placed over the top LCD layer. This can create a user interface with an operating unit 4 as shown in Fig. 7.


Claims

1. A mechanical pipette with a variable dosing volume comprising:

a. a manually drivable mechanical unit for pipetting liquids (2),

b. at least one sensor for detecting operating and/or performance data,

c. an operating unit comprising a dosing knob and an adjusting element for the dosing volume, and

d. a display unit (3) configured to display operating data and/or performance data,

e. the pipette being divided into physically separate parts, that is, a device module (7) and a physically separate display module (8),

f. wherein the device module (7) comprises the manually drivable mechanical unit for pipetting, the sensor and the operating unit and wherein the device module (7) does not have a display unit,

g. wherein the display module (8) completely comprises the display unit (3), and

h. means for wireless communication (9) between the device module (7) and the display module (8).


 
2. The pipette according to claim 1, wherein the device module (7) comprises an electronic control unit for detecting operating data and/or performance data.
 
3. The pipette according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the display module (8) is designed such that it recognizes the respective device module (7) when communicating with one of a plurality of device modules (7), and automatically sets a device-specific user interface on the display unit (8).
 
4. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 5, wherein the display module (8) is designed so that it can only be used when a proof of authorization is entered.
 
5. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 6, wherein the display module (8) is designed such that certain measuring results and other data can only be processed when proof of authorization is entered.
 
6. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 5, wherein the display module (8) is designed to have a reservation function by means of which the pipette can be blocked for certain intervals for certain users.
 
7. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 8, wherein the display module (8) has switches and/or keys and/or a keyboard and/or a microphone and/or a screen and/or a touch-sensitive screen and/or a loudspeaker and/or an acoustic signal generator.
 
8. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 7, wherein the device module (7) is handheld, and/or the operating display module (8) is portable and/or handheld by one person.
 
9. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 8, wherein the display module (8) is a cell phone and/or a personal digital assistant and/or a smartphone (22).
 
10. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 9, wherein the display module (8) comprises a head-up display and/or a transparent screen (31) that can be placed in front of a work area.
 
11. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 10 having an electronic data processing system (12) physically separate from the device module and display module (8), and means for communicating wirelessly or by wire between the display module and the electronic data processing system.
 
12. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 11, wherein the means for wireless communication (9) communicates by means of radio waves and/or optically and/or inductively and/or capacitively.
 
13. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 12, wherein the display module (8) is releasably connectable with the device module (7).
 
14. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 13, wherein the device module (7) has an electrical charger (18) for charging an electrical energy storage unit (17, 19) of the display module (8) or vice versa, and electrical contacts are available for transmitting an electrical charge from the device module (7) to the display module (8) or vice versa.
 
15. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 14, wherein the device module (7) and the display module (8) have contacts that are connectable with each other for communication and/or transmitting an electrical charge between the device module (7) and display module (8).
 
16. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 15, wherein the device module (7) has at least one operating element (15) for controlling dosing procedures and/or disconnecting a pipette tip (26) or syringe from the device module (7).
 
17. The pipette according to claim 16, wherein the device module (7) has a manually drivable mechanical drive unit for an ejector.
 
18. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 17, wherein the device module (7) has at least one drive unit mechanically coupled to a displacement organ of the displacement unit and/or the ejector, and an operating element coupled to the mechanical drive unit for driving the displacement unit by means of the muscle power of the user.
 
19. The pipette according to anyone of claims 1 to 18, wherein the device module (7) is rod-shaped as a whole or at the top end.
 
20. The pipette according to anyone of claim 1 to 19, wherein the display module is arranged on a pipette holder.
 
21. A pipette system having a plurality of device modules according to anyone of claims 1 to 20, and at least one display module according to anyone of claims 1 to 20, or at least one device module according to anyone of claims 1 to 20, and a plurality of display modules according to anyone of claims 1 to 20, wherein the means for wireless communication has a specific and/or settable range and a unit that makes it possible to determine whether the or a device module is located within a predetermined range around the or a display module.
 
22. Pipette system according to claim 21, wherein the at least one display unit is designed such that it only communicates with device modules within a specific spatial range.
 
23. The pipette system according to claim 22, wherein the specified spatial range is limited by a maximum distance, or by one room or a part of a room, or several rooms of a building.
 


Ansprüche

1. Mechanische Pipette mit einem variablen Dosiervolumen, umfassend:

a. eine manuell antreibbare, mechanische Einrichtung zum Pipettieren von Flüssigkeiten (2),

b. mindestens einem Sensor zum Erfassen von Betriebs- und/oder Leistungsdaten,

c. eine Bedieneinrichtung aufweisend ein a Dosierknopf und ein Einstellglied für das Dosiervolumen und

d. eine Anzeigeeinrichtung (3) konfiguriert zum Anzeigen von Betriebs-und/oder Leistungsdaten,

e. wobei die Pipette in körperlich getrennte Teile, d.h. ein Gerätemodul (7) und ein körperlich getrenntes Anzeigemodul (8) unterteilt ist.

f. wobei das Gerätemodul (7) die mechanische Einrichtung zum Pipettieren, den Sensor und die Bedieneinrichtung umfasst und wobei das Gerätemodul (7) kein Anzeigeeinrichtung umfasst,

g. wobei das Anzeigenmodul (8) die Anzeigeeinrichtung (3) vollständig umfasst, und

h. Mittel zum drahtlosen Kommunizieren (9) zwischen dem Gerätemodul (7) und dem Anzeigemodul (8) vorhanden sind.


 
2. Pipette gemäß Anspruch 1, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) eine elektronische Kontrolleinrichtung zum Erfassen von Betriebsdaten und/oder Leistungsdaten umfasst.
 
3. Pipette gemäß Anspruch 1 oder 2, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) so ausgebildet ist, dass es im Falle einer Kommunikation mit einem von mehreren Gerätemodulen (7) das jeweilige Gerätemodul (7) erkennt und automatisch eine gerätespezifische Benutzeroberfläche auf der Anzeigeeinrichtung (8) einstellt.
 
4. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) so ausgebildet ist, dass eine Nutzung nur bei Eingabe eines Nachweises der Berechtigung möglich ist.
 
5. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) so ausgebildet ist, dass bestimmte Messergebnisse und sonstige Daten nur bei Eingabe eines Nachweises der Berechtigung bearbeitet werden können.
 
6. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) so ausgebildet ist, dass es eine Reservierungsfunktion hat, mit der die Pipette für bestimmte Zeitintervalle für bestimmte Nutzer blockiert werden kann.
 
7. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) Schalter und/oder Tasten und/oder eine Tastatur und/oder ein Mikrofon und/oder einen Bildschirm und/oder einen berührungssiblen Bildschirm und/oder einen Lautsprecher und/oder einen akustischen Signalgeber aufweist.
 
8. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) handhabbar und/oder das Anzeigemodul (8) von einer Person tragbar ist.
 
9. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) ein Mobiltelefon und/oder ein Personal Digital Assistant und/oder ein Smartphone (22) ist.
 
10. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 9, bei dem das Anzeigemodul (8) ein Head-Up-Display und/oder einen vor einem Arbeitsbereich platzierbaren transparenten Schirm (31) umfasst.
 
11. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 mit einer körperlich vom Gerätemodul und vom Anzeigemodul (8) getrennten elektronischen Datenverarbeitungsanlage (12) und Mitteln zum drahtlosen oder drahtgebundenen Kommunizieren zwischen dem Anzeigemodul und der elektronischen Datenverarbeitungsanlage.
 
12. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 11, bei der die Mittel zum drahtlosen Kommunizieren (9) mittels Funkwellen und/oder optisch und/oder induktiv und/oder kapazitiv kommunizieren.
 
13. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 14, bei der das Anzeigemodul (8) lösbar mit dem Gerätemodul (7) verbindbar ist.
 
14. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 15, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) eine elektrische Aufladeeinrichtung (18) zum Aufladen eines elektrischen Energiespeichers (17, 19) des Anzeigemoduls (8) hat oder umgekehrt und elektrische Kontakte zum Übertragen elektrische Ladung vom Gerätemodul (7) auf das Anzeigemodul (8) oder umgekehrt vorhanden sind.
 
15. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 14, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) und das Anzeigemodul (8) miteinander verbindbare Kontakte für eine Kommunikation und/oder Übertragung elektrischer Ladung zwischen dem Gerätemodul (7) und dem Anzeigemodul (8) aufweisen.
 
16. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 15, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) mindestens ein Bedienelement (15) zum Steuern von Dosiervorgängen und/oder Lösen einer Pipettenspitze (26) oder Spritze vom Gerätemodul (7) aufweist.
 
17. Pipette nach Anspruch 16, bei dem das Gerätemodul (7) eine manuell antreibbare mechanische Antriebseinrichtung für einen Abwerfer aufweist.
 
18. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 17, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) mindestens eine mit einem Verdrängungsorgan der Verdrängungseinrichtung und/oder dem Abwerfer gekoppelte mechanische Antriebseinrichtung und ein mit der mechanischen Antriebseinrichtung gekoppeltes Bedienelement zum Antreiben der Verdrängungseinrichtung mittels Muskelkraft des Anwenders hat.
 
19. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 18, bei der das Gerätemodul (7) als Ganzes oder am oberen Ende stabförmig ist.
 
20. Pipette nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 19, bei der das Anzeigemodul an einem Pipettenhalter angeordnet ist.
 
21. Pipettensystem mit mehreren Gerätemodulen gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 20 und mindestens einem Anzeigemodul gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 20 oder mit mindestens einem Gerätemodul gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 20 und mehreren Anzeigemodulen gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 20, wobei die Mittel zur drahtlosen Kommunikation einen definierten und/oder variablen räumlichen Bereich haben und eine Einrichtung umfassen welche es ermöglicht festzustellen ob sich ein Gerätemodul innerhalb des definierten räumlichen Bereichs oder in der Nähe des oder eines Anzeigenmoduls befindet.
 
22. Pipettensystem nach Anspruch 21, bei dem die mindestens eine Bedien-und/oder Anzeigeeinrichtung so ausgebildet ist, dass sie nur mit Gerätemodulen innerhalb eines definierten räumlichen Bereichs kommuniziert.
 
23. Pipettensystem nach Anspruch 22, bei dem der definierte räumliche Bereich durch einen maximalen Abstand oder durch einen Raum oder Teil eines Raumes oder mehrere Räume eines Gebäudes begrenzt ist.
 


Revendications

1. Pipette mécanique avec un volume à dosage variable comportant :

a. une unité mécanique dirigeable manuellement pour le pipettage de liquides (2),

b. au moins un capteur pour détecter des données de fonctionnement et/ou de performances,

c. une unité opérationnelle comportant un bouton de dosage et un élément de réglage pour le volume de dosage et

d. une unité d'affichage (3) configurée pour afficher des données de fonctionnement et/ou des données de performances,

e. la pipette étant divisée en parties physiquement séparées, à savoir un module de dispositif (7) et un module d'affichage (8) physiquement séparés,

f. dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) comporte l'unité mécanique dirigeable manuellement pour le pipettage, le capteur et l'unité opérationnelle et dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) n'a pas d'unité d'affichage,

g. dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) comporte entièrement l'unité d'affichage (3) et

h. un moyen pour une communication sans fil (9) entre le module de dispositif (7) et le module d'affichage (8).


 
2. Pipette selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) comporte une unité de commande électronique pour détecter des données de fonctionnement et/ou des données de performances.
 
3. Pipette selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) est conçu de manière à reconnaître le module de dispositif (7) respectif lors de la communication avec un module parmi une pluralité de modules de dispositif (7) et définit automatiquement une interface utilisateur spécifique à un dispositif sur l'unité d'affichage (8).
 
4. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) est conçu de manière à ne pouvoir être utilisé que lorsqu'une preuve d'autorisation est entrée.
 
5. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) est conçu de sorte que certains résultats de mesure et autres données ne puissent être traités que lorsqu'une preuve d'autorisation est entrée.
 
6. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) est conçu pour avoir une fonction de réservation au moyen de laquelle la pipette peut être bloquée pendant certains intervalles pour certains utilisateurs.
 
7. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) a des interrupteurs et/ou des touches et/ou un clavier et/ou un microphone et/ou un écran et/ou un écran tactile et/ou un haut-parleur et/ou un générateur de signal acoustique.
 
8. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) est portatif et/ou le module d'affichage (8) opérationnel est portable et/ou tenu à la main par une personne.
 
9. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) est un téléphone cellulaire et/ou un assistant numérique personnel et/ou un téléphone intelligent (22).
 
10. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 9, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) comporte un affichage tête haute et/ou un écran transparent (31) qui peut être placé à l'avant d'une zone de travail.
 
11. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10 ayant un système de traitement de données électroniques (12) physiquement séparé du module de dispositif et du module d'affichage (8) et un moyen pour communiquer sans fil ou de manière filaire entre le module d'affichage et le système de traitement de données électroniques.
 
12. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 11, dans laquelle le moyen pour une communication sans fil (9) communique au moyen d'ondes radio et/ou de manière optique et/ou de manière inductive et/ou de manière capacitive.
 
13. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 12, dans laquelle le module d'affichage (8) peut être raccordé de manière séparable au module de dispositif (7).
 
14. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 13, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) a un chargeur électrique (18) pour charger une unité de stockage d'énergie électrique (17, 19) du module d'affichage (8) ou vice versa et des contacts électriques sont disponibles pour transmettre une charge électrique du module de dispositif (7) au module d'affichage (8) ou vice versa.
 
15. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 14, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) et le module d'affichage (8) ont des contacts qui sont raccordables l'un à l'autre pour une communication et/ou une transmission d'une charge électrique entre le module de dispositif (7) et le module d'affichage (8).
 
16. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 15, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) a au moins un élément opérationnel (15) pour commander des procédures de dosage et/ou déconnecter une pointe de pipette (26) ou une seringue du module de dispositif (7).
 
17. Pipette selon la revendication 16, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) a une unité d'entraînement mécanique dirigeable manuellement pour un éjecteur.
 
18. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 17, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) a au moins une unité d'entraînement accouplée mécaniquement à un organe de déplacement de l'unité de déplacement et/ou à l'éjecteur et un élément opérationnel accouplé à l'unité d'entraînement mécanique pour entraîner l'unité de déplacement au moyen de la puissance musculaire de l'utilisateur.
 
19. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 18, dans laquelle le module de dispositif (7) est en forme de tige dans son entier ou au niveau de l'extrémité de dessus.
 
20. Pipette selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 19, dans laquelle le module d'affichage est agencé sur un support de pipette.
 
21. Système de pipette ayant une pluralité de modules de dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 20 et au moins un module d'affichage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 20 ou au moins un module de dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 20 et une pluralité de modules d'affichage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 20, dans lequel le moyen pour une communication sans fil a une plage spécifique et/ou définissable et une unité qui permet de déterminer si le ou un module de dispositif est situé au sein d'une plage prédéfinie autour du ou d'un module d'affichage.
 
22. Système de pipette selon la revendication 21, dans lequel la au moins une unité d'affichage est conçue de sorte qu'elle communique uniquement avec des modules de dispositif au sein d'une plage spatiale spécifique.
 
23. Système de pipette selon la revendication 22, dans lequel la plage spatiale spécifiée est limitée par une distance maximum ou par une pièce ou par une partie d'une pièce ou par plusieurs pièces d'un bâtiment.
 




Drawing






































Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description